Govt releases funds for 10m more doses of Covid-19 vaccines | Sunday Observer
Purchase order for 18 million

Govt releases funds for 10m more doses of Covid-19 vaccines

7 March, 2021

The Government will purchase 18 million doses of Covid-19 vaccines, Deputy Director-General of Health Services Dr. Hemantha Herath said yesterday.

He said there are funds available to initially purchase 10 million doses and the rest will be secured when funds are ready. The State Pharmaceutical Corporation (SPC) has already placed an order for the 18 million doses that will be purchased from India, he said.

The first shipment of 264,000 doses of the AstraZeneca vaccine will arrive in the country today, March 7 under the COVAX Facility, a project launched by the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF).

The project has allocated 1.44 million doses to Sri Lanka and will be procured by UNICEF in stages until May 2021.

The Ministry of Health said the first 264,000 doses from COVAX will be for the most vulnerable persons above 60 and in high-risk areas.

“UNICEF is working with the Health Ministry to support Sri Lanka’s preparedness to receive vaccines and roll-out vaccination plans including supply and logistics, risk communication and demand generation.”

“This involves technical support to ensure that the Immunisation Supply Chains Management (ISCM) system including the Cold Chain, is in place and ready to receive, store and roll-out the Covid-19 vaccine even to the most difficult-to-reach communities and the development and implementation of Covid-19 risk communication and community engagement strategies,” the Health Ministry stated in a media release.

Sri Lanka approved the Russia’s Covid-19 vaccine Sputnik V for emergency use last week. The Russian Embassy in Colombo said Sputnik V has been approved by health regulators in 45 countries.